By East Africa TV
In a move to back the recent plastic bag ban, Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli made a surprise visit to a fish market in Dar es Salaam, brandishing a reed basket.
He said he wanted to prove that the fishmongers and buyers no longer need to use plastic bags known as kavera in Uganda.
A local journalist working with East Africa TV shared pictures on Twitter saying that the president was choosing which fish to buy.
In Tanzania, it is unusual for a man to carry a basket to the fish market, especially someone of the president’s status.
Magufuli warned traders who will be able to increase the cost of alternative funds following the Government to start using regulations that prohibit plastic bags.
“About 70 percent of the bags that were brought here were plastic bags so we were making overseas jobs, calling us all Tanzanians not to be forced to have certain bags to use, you may be surprised many bags are imported from within when they are in, I ask you only Tanzanians especially traders may not raise prices without a basic reason”, said President Magufuli.
President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Dr. John Pombe Magufuli congratulated Tanzanians for responding to the government’s call to stop using plastic bags that have serious impacts on the environment and biodiversity including human beings.
President Magufuli congratulates Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Prime Minister Hon. Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa, Minister of State, Vice President and Environment January Makamba, Regional Heads and District Heads who have supervised the implementation of the instructions he has given since 2016 regarding the use of plastic bags in accordance with the law.
However, President Magufuli has urged traders not to use the same opportunity to sell the bags and replacement packages at a higher price and instead he has asked the traders as well as domestic and foreign investors to create bags and packaging industries using raw materials available locally.
“If you can remember that you want to buy fish then why don’t you remember to carry your bag from home,” President Magufuli told Tanzanians.
He said fishmongers should not be forced by customers to hand over plastic bags.
A plastic bag ban came into force in Tanzania on Saturday, with the country joining more than 30 other African states to have banned the bags.
The measure is aimed at ending the environmental damage that they cause.